U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke in Miami threw out a conspiracy charge against Jose Padilla, saying it duplicated other charges pending against the alleged Al Qaeda operative.
Padilla, 35, is a U.S. citizen and former Chicago gang member who was held without charges for 3 1/2 years by the U.S. military as an enemy combatant. He was arrested in May 2002 at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. He was suspected of leading an Al Qaeda plot to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" in a major U.S. city.
The indictment does not mention the "dirty bomb" allegations. The case is scheduled for trial in January.